Just thinking about giving gifts for road trips makes me smile. Images from movies–involving convertibles, head scarves, and no traffic jams–come to mind. I figure the perfect gift will only make the experience even shinier.
These days, gifts for road trips run the full gamut: from simple (marketed as “retro”) to devices that practically drive for you. After all, even the best road trip has its dull stretches…as well as “I gotta pee” moments right after leaving the gas station.
Car Bingo: The classic road trip game! Long before there were DVD players, there was Car Bingo. Passengers actually looked out the window and tried to find the objects on the cards, hoping to spot the rare “S” curve before anyone else. It was fun, easy, and passed the hours. Every road trip should include a set of these cards. Period. Find a variety of these at amazon.com for about $10.
Portable Grill: Tired of greasy drive-thrus and pricey tourist spots? This nifty gas grill folds up to the size of a carry-on suitcase. Stop by a grocery store for supplies, then find a park or beach to relax and make your own meal. These times increase the Happy Factor.
Cuisinart has a nifty tabletop grill for about $110. A Coleman grill like the one in the picture will set you back about $200…but if you’re a serious roadtripeer, it’s also priceless. And economical in the long run.
Neck Pillow: Part of any road trip includes napping, especially when crossing the endless miles of the Great Plains. Finding a comfortable position is easier when you have the proper neck support.
The great thing about a road trip is you don’t have to have a minimal or inflatable pillow. You can choose from many styles and colors. Get an excellent one to help you rest between those games of “I Spy” and “Car Bingo.” (Click here for some fun road trip games for grown-ups.)
Pee Bottle: We’ve all been there, with or without children. Go ahead and laugh, but gifts for road trips must include a way to “relieve” oneself in a handy and discreet manner. An Emergency Bottle can save the day.
This one works for both males and females, although we all know men have the advantage in this situation. About $10. But if you find yourself in a dire situation, you would pay anything!
Roadside Kit: You knew this was going to be on the list. Any road tripper who doesn’t already have one will thank you for your thoughtful gift.
The AAA Emergency Roadside Kit is essential. It has booster cables, first aid supplies, duct tape–and much, much more. The Excursion Kit is about $75, but has 76 pieces, including an air compressor, jumper cables, and first aid kit. There is a smaller kit for $30. But you really, really want them to have everything they need, right? Go for the Premium.
If they’re mechanically inclined, consider the Roadside Emergency Toolkit for about $25.
Buying gifts for road trips is one of my favorites. The options are endless! What else should we consider? What have been your favorite road trip items?
Need more ideas?